When the stress grows, I sometimes get feeling sorry for myself. I know, I chose to leave and I am so glad I did; but here is the truth of it, I NEVER WANTED TO BE A SINGLE PARENT.

Tonight, we got home from ball. I had dishes to do, I was tired. I just wanted to sit and watch TV for a bit. But I picked cactus needles out of one kid, then went to check on my daughter and while I was down there my youngest dropped a pie on the floor. Completely innocent harmless accident, when I came up I just said, “Oh for f*uck sakes”. I saw the look of panic on her face wondering if she would get in trouble. I quickly apologized for getting upset, I just told her that mom was tired and I just wanted to rest and relax, but tonight was not going to be the night for that. She gave me a hug and told me she understood, then helped unload the dishwasher as I cleaned up the mess. I didn’t really realize how tired I was until one little thing can literally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and you just want to hide or cry, maybe both.

Even with my schedule being much more manageable than pre-COVID, there is a lot happening and at times it can be overwhelming. I have a child graduating, which navigating those waters are a bit tough in itself. Planning a graduation during COVID is a nightmare! Everyone wants what they want, but so many have such different comfort levels it is hard to accommodate, on top of that the government is still restricting gathers. It is a milestone, and should be celebrated but how? Is this even safe? How do I help my child through grad and in the next days and months following with all the chaos around us? Like so many, COVID is robbing us of such wonderful celebrations.

I have spent a lot more time worrying about exposure and safety more than I ever thought I would. I am not worried for myself necessarily, but my child who is in her teens and is battling what we think is Cronh’s Disease. It is awful, painful and hard to diagnose when healthcare is in a normal state. Let alone trying to get someone to really hear you during a pandemic. We have received some help, but where we need to be to really get the help we need, isn’t really the safest place for those who are sick. Travel is limited, and they don’t really want patients coming in unless absolutely necessary. She has had intense abdominal pain for almost 8 months now, and I am worried about how much fight she has left in her with no end of it in sight. Watching your child doubled over crying in pain it the most powerless feeling I have ever felt. I can’t do anything. If I take her to emergency there is nothing that can be done. Do I want her exposed to someone who could make it worse? It is a constant battle of weighing pros and cons. I am so tired of being told to wait for the GI specialist to contact us, that is our best option. I get it, that is my first choice too- but we needed help 8 months ago. I just want COVID to take a hike so we can get the help that we need!

Then my little 2, I just want them to live life as best as they can through all this. Have their fears and worries as minimal as possible and try to have a happy childhood as best as they can.

When days like today happen and I am trying to manage it all, it exhausts me. I get angry with my ex, not in the I want to lash out or hurt him. It is more of angry disappointment. Yes, he has let me down in so many ways… but I feel like he is letting his children down. His behavior is driving them away fast and hard. I so badly would love to have a weekend to myself to just have time to relax but I can’t. When my daughters are scared to be around dad, I refuse to send them. Take me to court, do what you got to do, but if they don’t feel safe you can bet I will fight to the bitter end. Trying to talk to him does nothing, my daughter commented after ending a recent conversation with him. She said she gave up talking to him that she was going to start calling him “Patrick”, because he lives under a f*cking rock! (Spongebob reference) It is the truth, they tell him what they need, and it falls on deaf ears and he blames me for the failing relationship. Little does he know, that I would love for them to have that relationship. I would love to have the help. I would love to not feel like it is all on my shoulders. I would love to not being the only one awake at night, 3 am researching what I can do to help my daughter through this. I would love a break.

Even though, taking care of myself has been a priority. There is nothing that can prepare you for the days you are overwhelmed and exhausted. Saying this makes me feel selfish. I know it isn’t, even in the best of times we all need a break from our daily lives. I am just ready for the new normal to not have sickness involved. That is the break we so badly need.

And someday, I hope that he will realize what his actions are doing to our children and make the changes needed. I look forward to the day that I can relax completely, knowing that my children are safe and cared for, until then we will stumble through this the best we can.

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